By Jennifer Vigil
According to a February report by Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit The Solar Foundation (which promotes the global benefits of solar energy use through research and education), California leads the nation in solar jobs.
"No other state really comes close," says Daniel Sullivan, president and founder of Sullivan Solar Power.
To say the solar market is heating up is an understatement. Electricity rates in San Diego jumped last year, and state and federal policymakers are offering tax incentives to property owners who
adopt environmentally friendly practices.
Business is good for Sullivan, who says the cost of a typical solar installation has been cut in half, to $24,000, in the decade since he launched his company. That financial accessibility coupled with ever-rising utility bills and continuing tax breaks helped propel the Mira Mesa firm to Number 77 on Inc. magazine's 2013 list of the nation's Top 100 fastest-growing energy companies.
Learn more about going solar when The Center for Sustainable Energy hosts March workshops in San Diego and Carlsbad to help homeowners connect with companies like Sullivan's, which design and install solar systems. energycenter.org/events
Array Of Hope
Higher power: Solar by the numbers
$24,000: Average cost of Sullivan Solar Power's typical residential solar installations.
$60,000: Amount saved by not paying SDG&E $250 per month for 20 years.
200,000: Number of solar projects (residential, commercial, governmental) in California.
25,000: Number of those projects within SDG&E's territory, according to Daniel Sullivan, president of Sullivan Solar Power.
$1.7 billion: Amount of rebates paid to homeowners and business-owners statewide in conjunction with the California Solar Initiative, which has a $2.167 billion total budget funded by the state's public utility customers.
$48 million: Amount of that money that has gone to homeowners in San Diego.
20%: Solar-sector job growth from 2012 to 2013. This number is expected to expand by another 15 percent in 2014.
47,223: Solar jobs held by workers in Southern California.